Ubuntu embodies the ideas of connection, community, and mutual caring for all.
I was introduced to the concept of Ubuntu through the Boston Celtics. In 2002, Doc Rivers of the Boston Celtics adopted it as a rallying call — Ubuntu was even inscribed on their championship rings in 2008. If you’re not of fan of the Celtics or even of basketball, don’t worry. This post is for everyone. It’s not about basketball or a particular geographic location.
The word ubuntu is part of the Zulu phrase "Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu", which literally means: that a person is a person through other people. It has been translated as, "I am, because you are".
Desmond Tutu is one of South Africa's most well-known human rights activists. He won the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in resolving and ending apartheid. In explaining the concept of Ubuntu, he shared, “My humanity is inextricably bound up in yours. We belong in a bundle of life.”
Our personal and professional lives are influenced and forged by relationships. Isaac Newton said, “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” I’m incredibly grateful for the many people who have helped to forge the person I am today. The list is too long, and by attempting to list each person, I’d inadvertently miss some. A big thank you to family, friends, mentors, and every single person I’ve had the privilege of coaching and teaching. The Latin phrase, “Docendo discimus” is relevant to personal finance. It translates to, “we learn from teaching.”
Some people influence our lives while we may not even realize it. Take for example, Adam Smith. If you’re not familiar with him, he was a Scottish economist, moral philosopher, and author. He’s known as the “Father of Capitalism.” You don’t have to agree with his philosophy; however, your life has been affected by his beliefs and writings. I agree with his quote:
“To feel much for others and little for ourselves; to restrain our selfishness and exercise our benevolent affections, constitute the perfection of human nature.”
I have been given much. It’s in gratitude that I strive to give more than I take.
Ubuntu- “I am, because you are.”
Through Matt Paradise Consulting LLC, I provide financial education to groups of all sizes and socioeconomic backgrounds.
I’m passionate about helping people. I love developing and delivering personal finance programs. The high value projects I create have been refined over a 20-year career in Credit Counseling. I’ve directly helped more than 100,000 people reach financial goals like getting out of debt, improving credit, buying homes, resolving and preventing identity theft, saving, and balancing budgets.
I know what it’s like to struggle for survival. Moving out on my own at 16, “home” was any couch or floor offered by friends and strangers. Problem solving skills were developed out of necessity. As a lifelong learner, my financial life has been transformed through 20 years of formal training, professional development, and the collective wisdom of every person I’ve coached, counseled, and taught.
I find joy in creating —weather it’s designing solutions for complex financial challenges, making music, writing poetry or building Legos with my son.
Check out my website and let me know how I can create and deliver an engaging program for your employees, community organization, or group of any size.